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CC Launches Innovator-in-Residence Program

New Program Strengthens Innovation Initiative

Colorado College is strengthening its innovation initiative and further advancing innovative opportunities and support for students with the addition of an Innovator-in-Residence program. CC is kicking off the program with two well-known innovators, Michael Hannigan ’75, founder and former CEO of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and Aaron Kahlow, founder and former CEO of the Online Marketing Institute.

Kahlow will be an Innovator-in-Residence from Sept. 28 through Oct. 29.  He is a recognized authority on social media, e-mail marketing, website usability, SEO, web analytics and overall web strategy. Kahlow served on the International Board of Directors of the Business Marketers Association and was named a “Top 40 Entrepreneurs under the Age of 40” by Metropolitan Magazine in 2006. As CEO of BusinessOnline, he and his brother built the agency from a three-man start-up to a $10 million BtoB Digital Agency of the Year. Kahlow is most known for having started and sold the industry's most recognized education event, the Online Marketing Summit.

He will have regular office hours for students, teach a multi-session digital marketing “crash course,” and partner with various programs and departments on campus, including the Career Center. In addition, Kahlow will be the guest speaker at the Oct. 1 Innovation Thursday, where he will share his personal story and start-up experience.

Hannigan began serving as a CC Innovator-in-Residence in September and will continue in that position through Jan. 14, 2016. He will collaborate with CC’s innovation initiative on co-curricular learning opportunities for the school year, have regular office hours for students, serve as a mentor for student teams, partner with the Career Center on developing workshops, and be actively involved in the Startup Crash Course: What You Need to Know to Start an Innovation-Based Venture, a Dynamic Half Block class that will be taught Jan. 4 – 14, in collaboration with Patrick Bultema, executive director of the innovation initiative at CC.

In addition, Hannigan will be the guest speaker at the Oct. 8 Innovation Thursday, where he will share his story. Hannigan has a long-standing connection to the social entrepreneurship realm, particularly in Colorado Springs. He created the philanthropy model for Pikes Peak Community Foundation, an organization committed to advancing community philanthropy and improving the quality of life in the Pikes Peak region. During his 17-year tenure as CEO, Pikes Peak Community Foundation generated $160 million in philanthropic revenue, of which approximately $100 million was invested in the regional community. At the time of his retirement, the foundation had $60 million in assets. Prior to his work at the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Hannigan and his wife founded a science and environmental education center in Estes Park, Colorado. He also served as a geology instructor at CC and as director of development from 1988-98.

Innovation Thursdays is part of a series of presentations and workshops offered throughout the academic year by the innovation initiative. Innovation Thursdays, held from 4– 5:30 p.m. at the Morreale Carriage House, 1130 ½ N. Cascade Ave., is intended to introduce students to concepts, activities and stories within the realm of innovation and entrepreneurship.